Not only can a boat operator be held criminally responsible for careless or reckless operation of a boat, but under Illinois law, boaters can also be held responsible for negligence and face a civil lawsuit.
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) May 20, 2014
On a beautiful summer evening, a woman was thrown from her boat into the water and had to wait for rescue crews to pull her out. Her boat was hit by another vessel and she suffered an array of injuries in the incident.
Lawyer Tara Devine of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. has handled several boating accident cases similar to the one described. This is why the attorney wants to remind boaters to be cautious and safe before sailing off this season.
Starting this year, boaters in Illinois are subject to the same drug and alcohol testing requirements as motorists. The law requires boat operators to submit to drug and alcohol testing if they are involved in an accident resulting in injury or death. Boaters who refuse to comply with testing, register a blood alcohol content over .08 or test positive for drugs will face suspension of their driver’s licenses and boating privileges.
“Not only can a boat operator be held criminally responsible for careless or reckless operation of a boat, but under Illinois law, boaters can also be held responsible for negligence and face a civil lawsuit,” said Tara R. Devine. “If you are the owner of a boat and loan your boat to a friend, as the owner, you could be held responsible if your friend is involved in an accident.”
According to Illinois law, reckless operation occurs if you cause danger to the life, limb or property of any person. Examples of reckless behavior include weaving your vessel through congested waterway traffic or waiting until the last moment to swerve and avoid a collision.
Although there might not be lanes out on the water, boaters are required to keep a lookout and use a horn. All motorboats, regardless of the size or motor, must have a mouth, hand or power-operated whistle or horn that is capable of producing a blast of at least 2 seconds and must be heard for a one-half mile.
Some of the most common causes of boat crashes include alcohol and drug use, excessive speed, and failure to properly observe other boaters. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, in 2013, 50 people were injured and 14 people lost their lives as a result of 65 reported boating accidents on Illinois waters.
About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Illinois personal injury law firm with offices in Chicago and Waukegan. In addition to representing clients in catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, aviation and product liability cases, the firm focuses on car and truck accidents, airplane and train accidents, construction injuries, birth injuries, brain injuries, unsafe properties and animal attacks. The firm has obtained more than $800 million on behalf of its clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including 198 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements. The firm has offices located in Waukegan, IL and Chicago, IL. Call 1-800-Salvi-Law to contact Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard.